Popularity vs. Belonging

Elphaba Standing With the Wizard

I want to remember this moment. Always. Nobody’s staring. Nobody’s pointing. For the first time, I’m somewhere… where I belong.

Elphaba and Glinda Sitting on a Bed Smiling

It’s not about aptitude. It’s the way you’re viewed, so it’s very shrewd to be very very popular like me!


1: the quality or state of being popular

1: frequently encountered or widely accepted
2: commonly liked or approved

1: a close or intimate relationship
2: have the right personal or social qualities to be a member of a particular group
3: fit in a specified place or environment

Recall three moments or characters in WICKED that exemplify “Popularity vs. Belonging.” Why are these examples of “Popularity vs. Belonging?”

When in your personal life have you been able to identify examples of “Popularity vs. Belonging?” Which of these moments felt like “Popularity” and which felt like “Belonging?” How did you feel in each of these moments?

Give an example of a time when you have observed or participated in “Popularity vs. Belonging” in your community. List three ways that you can continue to be aware of “Popularity vs. Belonging” in your life and community.

WICKED’s national partner BullyBust has resources for students, educators, and parents, as well as an Upstander Alliance page for learning more about “Popularity vs. Belonging.” 

Click or Clique: Positive and Negative Teen Social Groups” from PsychCentral, “Coping with Cliques” from KidsHealth.org, Fitting In vs. Belonging” from Social Justice Toolbox, “What Is the Sense of Belonging” from Verywell Mind, and Positive Psychology are resources and tools for learning more about “Popularity vs. Belonging.” We encourage you to visit these sites and explore!

“I see ‘Popularity vs. Belonging’ exemplified in WICKED when Elphaba arrives in the Emerald City. Her observation that for the first time in her life no one is pointing or staring at her green skin brings her to feel a real sense of belonging. For the first time in her life she feels like she really fits in.”

– Marina Lazzaretto, WICKED Company Member

Glinda and Elphaba in the Emerald City With Ensemble Members in the Background